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Like so many of England's racing circuits, Silverstone started life as an aerodrome. When the Second World War ended in 1945, England's other two circuits, Donington Park and the legendary Brooklands, had fallen into disrepair. And so it was that the outer taxiways and interconnecting runways of Silverstone became adopted by the Royal Automobile Club as the home for the British Grand Prix in 1948. The circuit was fast and challenging and in 1949 the shape was formed that remains the basis of the track to this day.
When the Formula One World Championship was incepted in 1950, Silverstone held the very first round, won by Guiseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo. In 1951 the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) was handed the lease by the RAC, and huge modifications were made. The pits were moved to the straight between Woodcote and Copse, from the Farm straight where they had originally been, and a short circuit was built within the larger circuit, cutting from Becketts corner to Woodcote.
From 1955 the British Grand Prix swapped venues between Aintree and Silverstone, but with the advent of the 1960s, Aintree fell out of favour and the race was switched between Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
In 1971 the BRDC bought the entire 720 acre plot on which Silverstone sits and went about redeveloping the track. New pits were built and a chicane was erected at Woodcote which provided close finishes and great overtaking opportunities.
In 1987, with speeds at the circuit reaching astounding levels, a corner was built before Woodcote, and in 1992 a new complex of corners was created between Farm and Woodcote.
In recent years various upgrades have been made to the track's facilities. A racing school now exists at the circuit and with government funding a new bypass has been built, greatly improving access to the once notoriously out-of-the-way venue.
Silverstone Circuit is located about 115km north of London. Most easily accessible by road, it lies on the A43 between Towcester and Brackley and is signposted from M1 junction 15A and M40 junction 10.
The airports serving Silverstone are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted and Birmingham International. The Eurostar network is another European route into London.
The main railway stations near Silverstone are at Northampton and Milton Keynes. Bus and coach services are also available from London but need to be booked in advance.